Bret Hess, with the University of Nevada, Reno Experiment Station, has been hired to serve as the executive director of the Western Association of Agriculture Experiment Station Directors, supporting the collective interests of Experiment Stations and agriculture colleges throughout the Western U.S. Additionally, the University of Nevada, Reno was selected to serve as the host institution for the association.
In this role, Hess’s main responsibilities are to provide leadership to Experiment Station directors from the 13 states and four territories making up the association, prioritizing and providing oversight of regional initiatives and multistate projects that include research, Extension and academic programs. He works with the directors to ensure that various Experiment Station projects are approved and meet the requirements of the association.
In addition, Hess will collaborate with directors to provide guidance and leadership at the national level for activities through the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) and as the executive vice chair for the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee. ESCOP handles continuing business, organization and policy issues at the national level on behalf of the state agricultural Experiment Station directors and administrators.
“My goal is to support Experiment Station directors and help them work together,” Hess said. “When we coordinate and work together, we can accomplish so much more and have greater impact.”
Hess is also working closely with Chris Pritsos, director of the Experiment Station unit of the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources and incoming chair of ESCOP. Hess is providing support for Pritsos, who will be hosting the Experiment Station Section Annual Meeting in September at the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Resort. Hess and Pritsos are currently planning the schedule and programming for the meeting.
“It is great having someone of Bret’s leadership, experience and knowledge joining our Experiment Station family here at the University.” Pritsos said. “I am looking forward to working with Bret during this coming year, as he will help me bring forth issues important to Nevada and the West to the national stage.”
Previously, Hess was the director for the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station and the associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming for nine years. He also served as assistant director for nearly three years prior to his time in the director position. Additionally, Hess served on several different committees and held multiple regional and national leadership positions. He credits all these experiences for preparing him to serve in his new leadership role.